Mick Schumacher has been forced to watch from the sidelines this year, but with the European leg of races coming up, Mercedes is set to increase the workload of their 24-year old reserve driver.
After parting ways with Haas late last year, Schumacher joined Mercedes as their reserve driver for this year and has since attended the opening three race weekends of the year.
Often seen at the side of Team Principal Toto Wolff, Schumacher has spent the early part of the season learning and observing, with the German highlighting his shock over the amount of communication happening at the team.
With the European schedule fast approaching, Schumacher’s workload is set to be increased, with Auto Motor und Sport reporting that from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix onwards, the German will be put on simulator duties in addition to his duties as reserve driver.
Schumacher will be spending Fridays in the simulator at the team’s base in Brackley, putting in the laps and help test different setups in assistance to the trackside team and drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.
At the end of his day of simulator work, Schumacher will be getting on the plane and fly to the respective grand prix, which he will be attending in his reserve driver capacity for both Mercedes as well as McLaren, making it possible for the German to quickly step in should the need arise.
Both the Azerbaijan and Miami Grand Prix are flyaway and back-to-back races, and Auto Motor und Sport reports that Schumacher has already put in the hours in the simulator for both tracks.
The streets of Baku will bring the extra challenge of a Sprint weekend, and the single hour of practice puts even more emphasis on the importance of preparation in the simulator.
Testing the different setups will likely also help Schumacher to become a more well-rounded driver, with the simulator work providing valuable experience.
Mercedes head to Baku as third in the Constructors’ Championship, nine points adrift of second-placed Aston Martin.